January 08, 2011

US concerned over China's new weapons: Gates

ABOARD A US MILITARY AIRCRAFT: US defense secretary Robert Gates on Saturday voiced concern over China's latest hi-tech weaponry and called for improving uneasy military relations with Beijing to help defuse tensions.

Speaking to reporters en route to Beijing for three days of talks, Gates said the Chinese appeared to have made more progress in building its first stealth fighter jet than previously thought and that an anti-ship missile posed a potential threat to the US military.

"They clearly have the potential to put some of our capabilities at risk. And we have to pay attention to them, we have to respond appropriately with our own programs," Gates said.

But he said the advances in weaponry underlined the importance of building a dialogue with the Chinese military, and said his visit starting Sunday hopefully would lay the ground for deeper US defense ties with Asia's rising power.

"My hope is that through the strategic dialogue that I'm talking about that maybe the need for some of these capabilities is reduced," Gates said.

With Chinese President Hu Jintao due in Washington for a pivotal state visit on January 19, both sides are anxious to show progress in defense ties, which China has repeatedly suspended over US arms sales to Taiwan.

"It's pretty clear the Chinese wanted me to come before President Hu visits Washington," Gates said.

"My own view is a positive, constructive, comprehensive relationship between the United States and China is not just in the mutual interests of the two countries, it's in the interest of everybody in the region and I would say across the globe."

Days before the US defense chief's highly symbolic trip, photographs appeared showing a prototype of China's first stealth fighter, the J-20, at an airfield in the southwest.

"We knew they were working on a stealth aircraft," Gates said when asked about the warplane.

"What we've seen is they may be somewhat further along in the development of that aircraft than our intelligence had predicted," he said.

But he added, "there is some question about just how stealthy" the new fighter really is.

Gates said he had been concerned about China's pursuit of "anti-ship, cruise and ballistic missiles ever since I took this job" four years ago.

He also said the development of China's anti-ship missile was at an advanced stage but it was unclear if the weapon was fully operational.

Due to the potential threat posed by Chinese missiles and other hardware, Gates said his proposed defense budget unveiled on Thursday placed a priority on technology designed to counter "anti-access" weapons

Watershed Year for Pakistan

Pakistan should be expected to enter a watershed period of transformation in 2011, with this dynamic having significant ramifications for the coalition’s conflict against the Taliban, as well as for the strategic balance between the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and India. In essence, Pakistan will be dominated by its geopolitical essence: as the key bridge between the Indian Ocean, Central Asia and the PRC.

By Gregory Copley for ISN Insights


The WikiLeaks scandal of late 2010, which has revealed to the Pakistan electorate the well-known mutual disregard and cynicism of the Pakistani and US political leaderships, coupled with the death on 14 December of the abrasive US Special Envoy to the region, Richard Holbrooke, will dramatically limit the efficiency of US-Pakistani cooperation - even more than was the case before - and compound the speed at which strategic change will occur in Pakistan in 2011.

At the same time, the visit to Pakistan by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao on 16 December highlighted the reality that Beijing now feels that the US 'primacy' in Pakistan's strategic posture has effectively begun to erode, and that it is now time for the PRC to be seen for what it is: Pakistan's most stable and significant strategic ally.

The pace of change in Pakistan will also be dominated by several factors, some of which are structural:

  1. The apparent decline in US political will or capability to engage in the region, either because of declining US power and a tight budget, or because of declining willingness of regional states and members of the NATO coalition to trust US strategic durability and constancy, or indeed because the logistics of sustaining the Afghan military operations are becoming too difficult. (The US-led Coalition's operations in Afghanistan critically depend on logistics through Pakistan. These have clearly been jeopardized, or affected, by the 2010 Pakistan flooding disaster, and by disaster relief efforts and the impact on Pakistani infrastructure. As well, some Coalition military assets have been diverted to assist Pakistani forces in dealing with the disaster across a broad swathe of the country. Coalition logistical efforts to support the Afghanistan military operations have also been dependent on tenuous, secondary logistical access through Central Asia, but these air routes - through Baku, Azerbaijan, and Manas, Kyrgyzstan - are equally under threat of suspension, but even now are only ancillary support routes. Should the Pakistani government decide that the Coalition operations are hindering rescue and revival operations for Pakistanis affected by the floods, Islamabad could decide to request substantially more support from the Coalition or request a restriction of Coalition access to Pakistani assets.)
  2. The growing move toward a critical mass in the overall Eurasian landmass of a trading (and therefore geostrategic) patterns dominated by the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) states linking the Great Black Sea Basin (GBSB) region and Russia to Western European and Mediterranean markets. In this framework, India will be substantially marginalized and Pakistan will be the 'bridge' used by the PRC to sustain this dynamic, ultimately adding to India's historical focus against Pakistan up to and possibly including moves toward consideration of military options;
  3. The rapid transition from an oil-dominated global marketplace in energy to a gas-dominated framework, which will heavily favor the continental Eurasian pipeline and trading networks which, because of ongoing instability in Afghanistan, will probably exclude Pakistan and India. The signing on 15 December of the TAPI (Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India) pipeline agreement by the governments of Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India was an attempt to begin to redress the difficulty which India, in particular, has had in accessing Central Asian energy resources. Significantly, the gas for the TAPI pipeline is projected to come from south-eastern fields under concessions to Chinese companies, and TAPI is proposed to include a major pipeline from Quetta to Gwadar, in Pakistani Baluchistan- thus feeding the PRC market. Whether the Mutlan-New Delhi portion of the pipeline is ever built is very much an open question, but the PRC's interests will be addressed as a priority. From India's standpoint, the 1,700km pipeline would take gas from Turkmenistan's Daulatabad Field, through Afghanistan, to Multan in Pakistan, and then on to the Indian township of Fazilka.
  4. The substantial decline, in the latter part of 2011, of US and general Western interest in the Afghanistan conflict, translating into a reduced perceived need to support Pakistani stability;
  5. The impact of the 2010 flooding in Pakistan which will see dramatically reduced food and agricultural output in Pakistan in 2011, leading to an exacerbation of economic and political problems, internal schisms along communal lines, and greater pressures on the Pakistan Armed Forces to sustain the infrastructural skeleton of the nation in the absence of other institutions. Attempts by the US to replace physical commitments (of troops, in particular) to Afghanistan and Pakistan with economic aid may do little to stabilize the situation, given that the present governmental institutions are dominated by a corrupt and otherwise paralyzed political structure. This reality, in concert with other factors, is likely to drive pressures on the Pakistan Armed Forces to somehow stabilize national governance, perhaps in concert with the Pakistan Supreme Court, to provide a legitimizing framework of emergency rule. (By August 2010, mid-way through the flooding season, 160,000 square kilometers of land, a fifth of Pakistan territory, was underwater. The number of individuals affected by the flooding exceeded the combined total of people affected by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the 2005 Kashmir earthquake, and the 2010 Haiti earthquake.);
  6. The emergence by late 2011 of the PRC as Pakistan's dominant strategic partner, even if Pakistan would rather, for cultural reasons,- have wanted the US to be its principal ally. The reality is that while the US has been Pakistan's most visible strategic partner in an unstable cycle of peaks and troughs since the mid-20thCentury, the PRC has been the power which has consistently provided Pakistan with backing. This, both with regard to the growing necessity of the PRC to constrain India into a corner of Eurasia and with regard to the growing ability of the PRC to provide economic and military aid of very real substance to Pakistan, has reached a transformative stage. In other words, the PRC not only has the absoluteneed to regard Pakistan as its vital bridge to the Indian Ocean and the Middle East and its Great Wall Against India, it finally has the ability to drive this reality through economic and political power;
  7. The growing economic and political stagnation within Pakistan, coupled with rapidly expanding urbanization (compounded by the 2010 flood displacement of rural societies) should be expected to drive radical political agendas in the major cities. This will compound security concerns within the country, pushing the urgency with which coalition partners, engaged in Afghanistan, will see the need to minimize their exposure in Pakistan. Moreover, the transformed security situation in Afghanistan, compounded by the speed with which the coalition is moving to "declare victory and go home", will exacerbate cross-border security concerns between Pakistan and Afghanistan and further encourage Afghan refugee flows into Pakistan, exacerbating Pakistan's economic, social and security concerns;
  8. Declining central governmental authority in Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan is likely to drive Baluch security issues. This will represent a major concern for Iran - which has attempted to cope with the problem - and Pakistan, but also to China, which absolutely requires the overland connection from the PRC via the Karakoram Highway (now expanding in size) through Pakistani-controlled Azad (Free) Kashmir and down through Pakistani Baluchistan to the Arabian Sea port of Gwadar, which is the cornerstone of China's decisive strategic pre-positioning at the mouth of the Persian Gulf;
  9. The military promotions and appointments pattern will, in 2011, govern how, or whether, the Pakistan Armed Forces - particularly the Army and Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) - are able, or enabled, to help deal with the strategic crisis at hand. There will be a profound political temptation on the part of the existing political leadership - which will face its own crisis in the early months of 2011 at the latest - to suppress any cohesive military capability which would curb the 'democratic' civilian elected leadership, and yet without a decisive military and intelligence capability the security situation would rapidly worsen; and
  10. The PRC can be expected to move strongly in 2011 to help boost Pakistan's economic and industrial situation, bearing in mind that until the 2010 floods and the 2010 tribal unrest Pakistan's economic growth was impressive, albeit offset by its high population and urbanization growth rates. It is conceivable that, even as the Coalition's relative importance in Pakistan (and, indeed, the Northern Tier) declines through 2011, it may be possible for Pakistan's private sector to begin to once again focus on economic growth. The PRC would be critical to this, but of primary importance would be whether Pakistan remains hostage to the 'old-style' democratic structures, or whether the Supreme Court and military in Pakistan can help transition Pakistani governance to greater stability and less corruption.

China, unbeatable

All of these factors - and many more - warrant detailed expansion and show that 2011 will be a watershed year for Pakistan. It may also be a watershed year for India, given that the Indian government itself must come to grips with the reality that failure to break into the new Great Silk Route network of the Eurasian landmass will render China's strategic leadership unbeatable within a short span of years.

Moreover, if Pakistan collapses, or becomes vulnerable, it must be questioned whether the US or India can ever win back a place in the Central Asian economic framework, which is, once again, increasingly dominated by Russia and China.

Pakistan has, in recent years, been the country which has had the world's highest level of overall population growth, coupled with the highest level of urban population growth. At the same time, it had, in fact, enjoyed one of the most impressive growths in agricultural output in the world, albeit a level of growth which had not been able to match the growth in population numbers. Thus, the short-term outlook as a result of the 2010 devastating floods is for a major decline in domestic agricultural output, coupled with a further acceleration in the growth in non-productive urban population numbers. This will have major ramifications for political trends, and for the possible rise in urban unrest at a time when much of Karachi, for example, is - for security reasons - a no-go area even for Pakistani security forces.

As noted, it is significant that the PRC relationship with Pakistan remains critical, and it is this - not the US-Pakistan relationship - which effectively ensures Pakistan's security against India. As if to confirm this, US President Barack Obama indicated on 16 December that the US-Pakistani relationship would deteriorate in 2011 because Washington blames the US failure in Afghanistan on Pakistan's reluctance to invade the Pushtun and Baluchi lands in order to close down Taliban sanctuaries.

Paralysis or stability?

Meanwhile, Pakistan is the great impediment to India in gaining overland access to Central Asia and to be a major participant in the revived 'Great Silk Route' wealth of energy and other trade within and across the entire Eurasian landmass. As this writer has noted, India, if it fails to gain land access to Central Asia, will be forced to rely on being an Indian Ocean (and perhaps Pacific) sea power: "Given the rise of the Eurasian landmass and its internal lines of communications, the Indian Ocean itself will become the dynamic ocean of the 21st Century, an inland sea linking Eurasia with the resources and markets of Africa and Australia. How India plays in this game - as a Mahanist sea power or Mackinderish heartland [power] - will be significant." (SeeDefense & Foreign Affairs Special Analysis, November 16, 2009, "As Superpowers Fade, the Satraps Stir, and the Indian Ocean Becomes the Vital Inland Sea". Writing inDefense & Foreign Affairs Special Analysis, January 5, 2010 )

In terms of comparison by gross domestic product (GDP) in real terms - ie: not by so-called 'purchasing power parity' - India in 2009 was ranked by the World Bank as the 11th largest economy, with a GDP of $1.31 trillion, while the PRC was ranked as the third largest economy with $4.98 trillion. In 1979, India's gross national product (GNP) was $96 billion, while the PRC's was $517 billion (GDP figures from the World Bank; 1979 GNP figures from the 1981 Defense & Foreign Affairs Handbook.). Arguably, then, although the proportional difference between the Indian and PRC economies has remained fairly constant - as have the population numbers of the two states - thereal differences in economic capability are now dramatic, giving the PRC greater strategic capability in comparison to India, just as, in recent years, India's real economic status has completely eclipsed that of Pakistan. These real economic differentials translate into the emergence (in both scenarios) of strategic differentials. However, in geostrategic terms, it is absolutely clear that the PRC regards Pakistan as an integral ally vis-à-vis India.

In the meantime, while it is possible that Pakistan could go through the worst political paralysis and instability in the first half of 2011, it could - with the help of the impending western withdrawal of forces from the region and the increase in Chinese support - begin to stabilize by the end of 2011. However, the failure of the present Pakistani government to adequately respond to the 2010 flood damage means that the country's agriculture may not recover for several years. This would be of profound concern, and it may be - along with improved electric power generation - the most critical national priority.

The immediate outlook for Pakistan, then, is a period of great challenges, and possible turmoil, with the end of yet another round of close US-Pakistan strategic relations, and the real emergence of support and investment from China. This will be a watershed year for Pakistan.

Gregory Copley, an Australian, is President of the International Strategic Studies Association, a worldwide organization based out of Washington, DC. He has written for many decades on global issues, and particularly on the Northern Tier/South Asian situation. He is the Editor-in-Chief of Defense & Foreign Affairs publications and the Global Information System, and has authored some 30 books, including the Defense & Foreign Affairs Handbook on Pakistan (2008, with a new edition in 2011), and The Art of Victory. His latest book is On Preferring Life: Human Considerations in a Wider World (SidHarta, Australia, 2010).

RFI: Who Invented The Intelligence Cycle?


If there is one thing that virtually every intelligence professional, every intelligence sub-discipline, every intelligence training course uses, it is some version of the Intelligence Cycle.

If you don't believe me, do a quick Google image search on the words "intelligence cycle". While virtually none of the cycles are the same and virtually no intel professional will swear that this is how intel actually gets done, it appears to be one of the few things that everyone -- national security, law enforcement and business -- uses.

A number of years ago, when I began to question the utility of the cycle (more on that later), I also began to do research on where the cycle came from. Who invented it? When? And under what circumstances? Why did the inventor think that a cycle was the best representation of the intel process?

While you can find the cycle everywhere, I could not find any answers to these basic questions. While I haven't been particularly aggressive in my research, I have asked numerous old-timers and intel historians and no one has been able to point to anything definitive.

Recently, though, while playing with Google's new Ngram Viewer, I ran across the 1948 book, Intelligence Is For Commanders by LTC Phillip Davidson and LTC Robert Glass. Both were either instructors or had been instructors at the Command and General Staff College when they wrote the book and it was clearly influenced by the US Army's experience in WWII.

What really intrigued me, though, was their very explicit use of the term, "Intelligence Cycle". I have scanned in a copy of their cycle and you can see it in the picture at the top of the page. What is clear from the context of the book is that the intelligence cycle was not a new concept in 1948.
Just a quick note on Intelligence Is For Commanders: If you are at all interested in intelligence history and, in particular, military intelligence history, you have to get a copy of this book. It comes complete with a packet of old school onion skin transparencies that are examples of 1948 analytic methods that later evolved into Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield (In fact, one of the authors, Phillip Davidson went on to become the first officer in the Military Intelligence Corps to reach the rank of General). That is just the tip of the iceberg; for the historically minded, this book is full of interesting tidbits about how intel was done back in the day...
In other research, I have been able to trace some descriptions of the intel process (which sound like the intel cycle but aren't called that) back to the 1920's. What I am really interested in, though, is who was the first person (or organization) to refer to the intel cycle as the intel cycle and when and why did that happen?

Here's how you can help:

Stories. When were you first exposed to the intelligence cycle? Under what circumstances? I am interested in responses from all three sub-disciplines of intel. I think it would be fascinating to trace the intel cycle as it migrated through the years from the national security community to the law enforcement and business communities.

Books or manuals. If you know of any books or manuals that specifically mention the intel cycle, I would be interested and would be particularly interested in any that were written before 1948. Just give me the names and I will have my team of crack Graduate Assistants track them down.

Any other leads. This is a bit of a detective story so any ideas that you might have to push the investigation along would be most appreciated.

Finally, I would really like you to leave your story, book or other lead in the comments below so that everyone can follow along. If you want to contact me directly, though, my email is kwheaton at mercyhurst dot edu.

2011 Predictions Of Interest (Link List)


The end of the year is always a good time for people and institutions who are in the business of taking a look at the year ahead. Here are a few lists of predictions that might be of interest to readers of SAM:

Next Year's Wars. A joint effort of Foreign Policy magazine and the International Crisis Group (and first spotted by the always helpful US Army INTLST...), this list provides some initial insight into 16 possible new crises predicted to erupt in 2011. The list includes no-brainers such as Iraq and Sudan but also includes some surprises.

Forecast 2011: Conflict Hotspots. The International Relations and Security Network has put together an interesting end of year report that highlights Tajikistan, Pakistan and the North Caucasus as places to watch in 2011 among its fairly extensive list of reports and primary resources.

7 Technologies That Will Rock 2011. Technology is not only of general interest to all of us but of specific interest to intelligence professionals. One new tool, Quora, discussed in this list by TechCrunch, deserves a special look.

Virtual Worlds Predictions. I know, I know; virtual worlds seem so ... 2009. That is pretty much where you would expect them to be given the 2010 Gartner Hype Cycle, though. It is worth taking a look at this list if only for the government and R and D aspects of this technology.

All these predictions tend to increase uncertainty about the future (well, my uncertainty, at least). If it does the same for you , take a look at Wired magazine's recent essay on the Uncertainty Effect. It might not help you feel less uncertain but it may well help you understand your own biases a bit better.

Got other lists worth looking at? Leave 'em in the comments!

QUOTE OF THE DAY: "Military-industrial-congressional-thinktank-university-media complex"

For decades, the US has been aiding and arming a pseudo-democratic (but effectively military) regime in Pakistan in the guise of enlisting its support against terrorism, while this aid is being spent by the Pakistani regime on fighting an internal civil war which is designed to create more terrorists (including the heroic predator drone strikes on civilian populations from the safety of Kansas and West Virginia). Both donor and recipient have developed incentives to continue this killing spree in the name of fighting the very terrorism whose flames are being fanned by their actions. Consider the synergy between the military-industrial-congressional-thinktank-university-media complex in the US/NATO countries and the military-jihadi complex in Pakistan, and follow the money. Ask yourself who is gaining by all this.The war on terror has expanded, not shrunk, because it has evolved into a political project to keep people in a permanent state of insecurity in which they would feel compelled to support policies to protect them against imagined terrors.

-- Anonymous, comment posted at IntelliBriefs

Need for more US interest in Balochistan



There is a need for the US to pay more attention to Balochistan as part of its Af-Pak strategy in order to pacify the Pashtun militancy encouraged by Al Qaeda and the Talibans operating in the Pashtun belt on both sides of the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. Balochistan is one of the areas of Pakistan where the influence of the mullas (clergy) is limited. The Balochs have no love for either the Army or the Mullas. The present struggle of the Baloch nationalists is directed against both the Army and the Mullas. The success of the nationalists would provide the US-led NATO forces with a rear base, free of the extremist virus, from which they could operate against Al Qaeda and the Talibans. A progressive and developed Balochistan could be an important component of the ideological struggle against Wahabised Islamic extremism, which today controls large areas of Pakistani Punjab and the Pashtun belt.

2. A Baloch component of the Af-Pak strategy should pay attention to the following aspects:

  • Allocation of more American funds for the economic and educational development of Balochistan and the improvement of its infrastructure.
  • The US should pay more attention to new ideas such as using the Chinese-constructed Gwadar port for providing logistic supplies to the NATO forces in Afghanistan, thereby reducing the present dependence on the Karachi port and truck movements from Karachi to Afghanistan. A US interest in Gwadar could achieve two objectives. It could seek to keep the Chinese Navy out of this area, thereby reducing the security concerns of the Gulf States and it could make Gwadar serve the economic interests of Afghanistan and the Central Asian Republics and not merely of Western China. There is already some support even in Government circles in Balochistan to the idea of an American role in the further development of the Gwadar port. Talking to the local media on January 2, Balochisan’s ChiefMinister Muhammad Aslam Raisani said that the provincial government was ready to provide security to NATO supplies if they were transported through the Gwadar port. Raisani said that the NATO forces would have to invest $1.5 billion for the construction of roads to facilitate the transportation of oil to Afghanistan through the Gwadar port. He added that the Afghan Transit Trade through Gwadar could promote trade and business in Balochistan besides opening new opportunities for employment. According to him, the Afghan Transit Trade through Gwadar Port was the need of hour for the development of the port.
  • Greater US attention to the human rights situation in Balochistan and to the aspirations of the Baloch nationalists. After having kept its eyes closed to the deteriorating human rights situation in Balochistan all these years, the US is showing some signs---still inadequate--- of concern over the suppression of the Balochs. This became evident from a “New York Times” report of December 30,2010, according to which, the US has been voicing concern over reports from human rights groups that Pakistan’s security forces are holding thousands of political separatists without charge. Citing a State Department report to Congress, the “NY Times said the Barack Obamaadministration was alarmed by reports that separatists, mostly from Balochistan, had been detained over the past decade and were being held incommunicado. Some of the missing were guerrillas and others civilians. The State Department report, obtained by the paper, said that some American officials think that the Pakistanis have used the pretext of war to imprison members of the Balochnationalist opposition. The report urged Pakistan to address the issue and other rights abuses, the paper said. “There continue to be gross violations of human rights by Pakistani security forces,” the report said. “The Pakistani government has made limited progress in advancing human rights and continues to face human rights challenges.” The Reuters news agency had reported that in late September last year the US had asked Pakistan for information about a video posted on the Internet purporting to show men in Pakistani military fatigues lined up in a firing squad shooting bound and blindfolded men.

3. The worsening human rights situation in Balochistan has aroused serious concern in Pakistan itself. The “Daily Times” of Lahore wrote as follows on January 7: “The sorry saga of Balochistan’s struggle for rights continues. Two more bullet-riddled bodies of Baloch StudentsOrganisation-Azad (BSO-A) have been found in Pasni Road in Turbat on Wednesday. One of them Qambar Chakar, 25, was deputy organiser of BSO-A in Shal zone and had been picked up from near his residence in Turbat on November 27, 2010. The other one, Ilyas Baloch, 24, was a student of Balochistan University and had been picked up by unidentified persons 16 days ago near Ormara, while he was on his way toGwadar. Each of them had received three bullets and their bodies bore signs of torture. These young men might have simply disappeared never to be found again, but there has been a visible shift in tactics on the part of the security agencies during the past few months. Earlier,Baloch activists, mostly moderate nationalists or student activists, simply disappeared from the scene, without a trace. Now they reappear – dead and their bodies disfigured. Perhaps the thinking behind this policy is that it would frighten the Baloch into submission. Or because the pressure is mounting on the security agencies to produce the missing persons, which they are now doing in this form to silence the protesting relatives. There cannot be a bigger miscalculation. Instead of cowering the Baloch, this brutality is spreading their cause and strengthening their resolve even more. On the other hand, the international community is gradually waking up to the reality of Pakistani security forces’ excesses in Balochistan. Human rights agencies have consistently reported that thousands of Baloch activists have been rounded up during the last decade. Just recently The New York Times revealed that a US State Department report has shown concern over enforced disappearances in Balochistan as well as extra-judicial killings in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Reportedly, the US refused to impart training to half a dozen army units charged with killing suspects. According to this news report, the US had privately confronted Pakistan with evidence of human rights abuses by its security forces. If this pattern of abuse continues, Pakistan should prepare for a tragedy like East Pakistan.”

4. Speaking in the National Assembly on January 7,Lt-Gen (retd) Abdul Qadir Baloch of the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz Sharif), who used to be the Governor of Balochistan, warned the Government that its indifference towards Balochistan would augur well neither for the province nor for the country’s integrity. He drew attention to the issue of custodial killings allegedly by the Frontier Corps (FC) which, he said, had paralysed most of southern and central Balochistan and also the issue of reappearance of FC posts which had been removed earlier after the present Government came to power in Islamabad in 2008. He said a strike was being observed in most parts of southern and central Balochistan in protest against the killing of two youths whose mutilated bodies had been found. He said the bodies of seven youths had been found over the past few days. They were reported to have been picked up by FC personnel in raids on their homes. Gen (retd) QadirBaloch said he had been voicing concern over such actions which had been reported by international media and taken up by the US Congress and other forums. But “our own government is unmoved”.

5.The Government headed by the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), which initially showed signs of a more sympathetic approach to Balochaspirations, has proved itself to be no different from the previous Government of Gen.Pervez Musharraf which unleashed a policy of military suppression of the Balochs. The Army dictates the policies of the Government in Balochistan.

6. The Balochs could play an important role in the ideological campaign against Wahabised Islam and in countering the activities of the Afghan Taliban from Balochistan. Just as the Pakistan Army has been suppressing the Shias of the Kurram Agency of the Federally-Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) who are resisting the ingress of the Jallaludin Haqqani network into their areas, it has been suppressing the Baloch nationalists instead of acting against the Afghan Taliban, which has been operating from the Afghan refugee camps inBalochistan.

7. It is time for the US to correct its Af-Pak strategy in order to pay more attention to the Baloch component. Closing its eyes to what has been going on in Balochistan will prove to be detrimental to the US interests in the region. (9-1-11)

( The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai, and Associate of the Chennai Centre For China Studies. E-mail: seventyone2@gmail.com )

Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America


Most of us who live stressed out lives ( certainly in the diplomatic profession ) have taken recourse to Psychiatric drugs , some times. But their effectiveness remains doubtful . Many a times the medical practitioners are encouraged in prescribing these drugs , in league with Pharmaceuticals and Drugs companies with commissions and other quid pro quo .

I was Chairman and Managing Director of India’s largest Drugs and Pharmaceuticals Company , IDPL in 1985 and 1986 , with five units producing a wide range of bulk drugs, formulations, chemicals and surgical instruments , employing nearly 13,000 personnel .As a result of price control regime , the Indian government did succeed in keeping the prices of the life saving drugs cheap , also forcing multinationals to produce bulk drugs in India .IDPL trained a large number of Pharma industry experts , ( Dr Reddy of Reddy Laboratories was one of them) researchers, marketers and technicians .India now produces drugs amounting to 12 o 15 billion dollars and is a major exporter.

During my tenure with IDPL , I became aware of the nexus between the doctors and drug companies. How private companies keep politicians on their rolls to plead their case and other such practices. IDPL was always at a disadvantage , with the controlling ministry not supporting us .Many bureaucrats were gifted sahres in private companies , whose cause they promoted.

It was clear that drugs mostly treat the symptoms and not cure the disease .But some medicines like anti-biotics are necessary in curing infections . But have been abused and over prescribed.

I am reproducing below an article edited by Gary G. Kohls, MD , with his permission ,on the subject noted above . Three years ago I was forced to take Xanax and other Psychiatric drugs with indifferent results .Finally I was able to kick off the drugs with daily breathing exercises , one can learn from TV being done by Guru Ram Dev , who has done more for the health of Indians than many health ministers put together .

Cheers and take care Gajendra Singh ,8 January, 2011, Mayur Vihar, Delhi’

Psychiatric Drugs and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America

Excerpts from Robert Whitaker’s Anatomy of an Epidemic

From Ethical Human Psychology and Psychiatry, Vol. 7, Number 1, Spring 2005

Full article, with extensive documentation, accessible at:


Excerpted, with minimal editing, by Gary G. Kohls, MD

The percentage of Americans disabled by “mental illness” has increased dramatically since 1955, when Thorazine – remembered today as psychiatry’s first “wonder” drug – was introduced into the market.

There are now nearly 6 million Americans disabled by “mental illness”, and this number increases by more than 400 people each day. A review of the scientific literature reveals that it is our drug-based paradigm of care that is fueling this epidemic. The drugs increase the likelihood that a person will become chronically ill, and induce new and more severe psychiatric symptoms, often psychiatric drug-induced, in a significant percentage of patients.

E. Fuller Torrey, in his 2001 book The Invisible Plague, concluded that insanity had risen to the level of an epidemic. This epidemic has unfolded in lockstep with the ever-increasing use of prescription psychiatric drugs.

The number of disabled “mentally ill” has increased nearly six-fold since Thorazine was introduced.

The number of disabled “mentally ill” has also increased dramatically since 1987, the year Prozac was introduced.

Anti-psychotics, antidepressants, and anti-anxiety drugs create perturbations in neurotransmitter functions. In response, the brain goes through a series of compensatory adaptations. Neurons both release less serotonin and down-regulate (or decrease) their number of serotonin receptors. The density of serotonin receptors in the brain may decrease by 50% or more. After a few weeks, the patient’s brain is functioning in a manner that is qualitatively as well as quantitatively different from the normal state.

Conditions that disrupt brain chemistry may cause delusions, hallucinations, disordered thinking, and mood swings – the symptoms of insanity. Infectious agents, tumors, metabolic and toxic disorders and various diseases could all affect the brain in this manner. Psychiatric medications also disrupt brain chemistry. Psychotropic drugs also increase the likelihood that a person will become chronically ill, and they cause a significant percentage of patients to become ill in new and more severe ways.


Neuroleptics (AKA Anti-psychotics, Anti-schizophrenics, Major Tranquilizers)

In an NIMH (National Institute of Mental Health) study, short-term (6 weeks) anti-psychotic drug-treated patients were much improved compared to placebo (75% vs. 23%). However patients who received placebo treatment were less likely to be re-hospitalized over the next 3 years than were those who received any of the three active phenothiazines.

Relapse was found to be significantly related to the dose of the tranquilizing medication the patient was receiving before he was put on placebo – the higher the dose, the greater the probability of relapse.

Neuroleptics increased the patients’ biological vulnerability to psychosis. A retrospective study by Bockoven also indicated that the drugs were making patients chronically ill.

There were three NIMH-funded studies conducted during the 1970s that examined this possibility (whether first-episode psychotic episodes could be treated without medications), and in each instance, the newly admitted patients treated without drugs did better than those treated in a conventional manner (i.e. with anti-psychotic drugs).

Patients who were treated without neuroleptics in an experimental home staffed by nonprofessionals had lower relapse rates over a 2-year period than a control group treated with drugs in a hospital. Patients treated without drugs were the better functioning group as well.

The brain responds to neuroleptics – which block 70% to 90% of all D2 dopamine receptors in the brain – as though they are a pathological insult. To compensate, dopaminergic brain cells increase the density of their D2 receptors by 30% or more. The brain is now supersensitive to dopamine and becomes more biologically vulnerable to psychosis and is at particularly high risk of severe withdrawal symptoms should he or she abruptly quit taking the drugs.

Neuroleptics can produce a dopamine supersensitivity that leads to both dyskinetic and psychotic symptoms. An implication is that the tendency toward withdrawal psychosis in a patient who had developed such a supersensitivity is determined by more that just the normal course of the illness.

With minimal or no exposure to neuroleptics, at least 40% of people who suffered a psychotic break and were diagnosed with schizophrenia would not relapse after leaving the hospital, and perhaps as many as 65% would function fairly well over the long term. However, once first-episode patients were treated with neuroleptics, a different fate awaited them. Their brains would undergo drug-induced changes that would increase their biological vulnerability to psychosis, and this would increase the likelihood that they would become chronically ill (and thus permanently disabled).

In the mid 1990s, several research teams reported that the drugs cause atrophy of the cerebral cortex and an enlargement of the basal ganglia. The drugs were causing structural changes in the brain. The drug-induced enlargement of the basal ganglia was associated with greater severity of both negative and “positive” (schizophrenic)symptoms. Over the long term the drugs cause changes in the brain associated with a worsening of the very symptoms the drugs are supposed to alleviate.


The story of antidepressants is a bit subtler, and it leads to the same conclusion that these drugs increase chronic illness over time. Well-designed studies, the differences between the effectiveness of antidepressant drugs and placebo are not impressive. About 61% of the drug-treated patients improved, versus 46% of the placebo patients, producing a net drug benefit of only 15%.

At the end of 16 weeks (in a study comparing cognitive behavior therapy, interpersonal therapy, the tricyclic antidepressant imipramine and placebo) there were no significant differences among treatments, including placebo plus clinical management, for the less severely depressed and functionally impaired patients. Only the severely depressed patients fared better on a tricyclic than on placebo. However, at the end of 18 months, even this minimal benefit disappeared. Stay-well rates were best for the cognitive behavior group (30%) and poorest for the imipramine group (19%).

Antidepressants were making people chronically ill, just like the anti-psychotics were. In 1985, a U.K. group reported that in a 2-year study comparing drug therapy to cognitive therapy, relapse was significantly higher in the pharmacotherapy group. Long-term use of antidepressants may increase the patient’s biochemical vulnerability to depression and thus worsen the course of affective disorders. An analysis of 27 studies showed that whether one treats a depressed patient for 3 months or 3 years, it does not matter when one stops the drugs. The longer the drug treatment, the higher the likelihood of relapse.


Xanax (a benzodiazepine class “minor” tranquilizer) patients got better during the first four weeks of treatment; they did not improve any more in weeks 4 to 8, and their symptoms began to worsen after that. A high percentage relapsed and by the end of 23 weeks, they were worse off than patients treated without drugs on five different outcomes measures. Patients tapered off Xanax suffered nearly 4 times as many panic attacks as the non-drug patients and 25% of the Xanax patients suffered from rebound anxiety and insomnia more severe than when they began the study.

Today’s drug-treated patients spend much more time in hospital beds and are far more likely to die from their mental illness than they were in 1896. Modern treatments have set up a revolving door and appear to be a leading cause of injury and death.


It is well-known that all of the major classes of psychiatric drugs – anti-psychotics, anti-depressants, benzodiazepines, and stimulants for ADHD – can trigger new and more severe psychiatric symptoms in a significant percentage of patients. It is easy to see this epidemic-creating factor at work with Prozac and the other SSRIs.

Prozac quickly took up the top position as America’s most complained about drug. By 1997, 39,000 adverse-event reports about it had been sent to Medwatch. These reports are thought to represent only 1% of the actual number of such events, suggesting that nearly 4 million people in the US had suffered such problems, which included mania, psychotic depression, nervousness, anxiety, agitation, hostility, hallucinations, memory loss, tremors, impotence, convulsions, insomnia and nausea.

The propensity of Prozac and other SSRIs to trigger mania or psychosis is undoubtedly the biggest problem with these drugs. The American Psychiatric Association warns that manic or hypomanic episodes are estimated to occur in 8% to 20 % of patients treated with anti-depressants.

Anti-depressant-induced mania is not simply a temporary and reversible phenomenon, but a complex biochemical mechanism of illness deterioration. Yale researchers reported that 8.1% of all admissions to a psychiatric hospital they studied were due to SSRI-induced mania or psychosis.

Thus the SSRI path to a disabling mental illness can be easily seen. A depressed patient treated with an anti-depressant suffers a manic or psychotic episode, at which time his or her diagnosis is changed to bipolar disorder. At that point, the person is prescribed an anti-psychotic to go along with the anti-depressant, and, once on a drug cocktail, the person is well along on the road to permanent disability.


There is an outside agent fueling this epidemic of mental illness, only it is to be found in the medicine cabinet. Psychiatric drugs perturb normal neurotransmitter function, and while that perturbation may curb symptoms over a short term, over the long run it increases the likelihood that a person will become chronically ill, or ill with new or more severe symptoms. A review of the scientific literature shows quite clearly that it is our drug-based paradigm of care that is fueling this modern-day plague.

Robert Whitaker’s ground-breaking book, Mad In America: Bad Science, Bad Medicine and the Enduring Mistreatment of the Mentally Ill was published in 2002, That critically acclaimed book should be, but is not, required reading for everybody in the medical profession, including psychiatric patients and their loved ones. (www.madinamerica.com)

Whitaker’s latest book (published in 2010) Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America, further documents the epidemic of “mental illness” disability (which, in many cases, are not mental illnesses at all, but rather drug-induced neurological illnesses that manifest psychological symptoms or drug-induced withdrawal both of which can be mis-diagnosed as mental illnesses).

Each of these books have been essentially black-balled by the pharmaceutical, medical and psychiatric industries, neither book having even been reviewed in any mainstream medical journals.

Dr. Kohls warns against the abrupt discontinuation of any psychiatric drug because of the common, often serious withdrawal symptoms that can occur with the chronic use of any dependency-inducing psychoactive drug, whether illicit or legal. Close consultation with an informed physician who is familiar with treating drug withdrawal and who is also willing to read and study the above books and become familiar with the previously poorly understood dangers of these drugs.

Indian elephant too slow for the Chinese dragon


Special to The Japan Times

HONG KONG — The visit by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao to Delhi in December underlined the importance and immense diversity between the world's two once-and-future superpowers.

Neighbors China and India, home to 35 percent of the planet's population, are the great hope for future global growth while potentially posing great peril that could plunder and destroy the Earth's fragile resources.

Wen arrived with great fanfare, as if trying to prove that anything that the United States, France or Britain could do, China could do better and bigger. All four countries have paid court to India in recent weeks looking for business deals. President Barack Obama took 215 business leaders; Nicolas Sarkozy led more than 60; and David Cameron was accompanied by 40 British business executives. Premier Wen took 400 executives, including bosses from Shanghai Electric, SinoSteel and telecoms firms ZTE and Huawei.

When Wen left after a packed three days, China and India had signed 50 deals for power, steel, wind energy, telecommunications as well as food and marine products, altogether worth about $16 billion, much bigger than the $10 billion worth that Obama and his business leaders left with. The two neighbors also agreed to increase their trade from $60 billion to $100 billion by 2015.

So the wrapping paper on the talks was appropriately festive. But if you get beyond the bonhomie and the blahblah of the official speeches and the communique, the two countries failed to come to grips with real issues dividing them, which could undermine their promise of better ties.

China and India were both victims of colonialism in past centuries. When they regained their freedom, both China and India retreated into effective economic isolationism in different ways. China physically closed the door on the outside world with disastrous economic results until Deng Xiaoping opened it in 1978. India was always open but in pursuing economic autarchy, it condemned itself to the "Hindu rate of growth," barely above the rate of population increase.

India did not follow Deng's opening of the door to the outside world. It was not until the then Finance Minister Manmohan Singh found himself with only enough money in the kitty to pay for two weeks of essential imports in the early 1990s that India somewhat reluctantly began opening up its economy.

Singh in those early days asked if a nationalized industry was profitable, why shouldn't the people be allowed to share in the profits. It was a reasonable question, relevant today when it has been belatedly revealed that the Indian exchequer and people have been cheated of between $40 billion and $50 billion because the former telecommunications minister sold mobile telephone licenses too cheaply.

The fatal flaw in the logic that a nanny state knew best how to direct the details of the economy was that the many underpaid underlings saw their opportunities for making money out of the proliferation of permits required to start a business, employ people, get power and water supplies, have access to finance, let alone to fail and close a business or sack people.

India's "permit raj" played into the hands of corrupt officials and the big industrial groups that knew how to manipulate them to prevent competitors from entering the market.

In spite of recent often reluctant liberalization, India remains a difficult place to do business, according to the World Bank Group's annual report Doing Business 2011. It languishes in 134th position out of 183 economies ranked — up by a single place in a year.

China is in 79th place, down one from the 2010 study. Both India and China score poorly on the aspects of starting a business — India in 165th position, and China in 151st — and dealing with construction permits — where India comes 177th and China 181st.

They also diverge significantly in the importance of trade to their economies. China is a trillion-dollar exporting giant that took over from Germany as the world's biggest exporter in 2009, with exports of $1.2 trillion, 9.6 percent of global exports and a trade surplus of almost $200 billion. (As an importer, China lags the U.S. by a considerable distance, just over $1 trillion in 2009 against the $1.6 trillion imported by the U.S.) India is in lowly 21st place of the world league with only $136 billion exports in 2009, 1.3 percent of global exports and a trade deficit of $114 billion.

Trade between China and India has increased by leaps and bounds and will top $60 billion for 2010, making China India's biggest trading partner. China has made big inroads into India's consumer markets for all sorts of goods from shoes to toys, electronics and computers. In 2010, China exported a subway train to India. India has not had anything like the same success in selling to China because its long-protected manufacturers cannot turn out goods cheaply enough.

Iron ore alone makes up about half of India's exports, and the rest consist mostly of basic commodities. Delhi has long complained that China doesn't play fair in terms of market access, and has launched a string of anti-dumping cases against Beijing in the World Trade Organization. Indian companies also complain that China only opens the door reluctantly when they try to set up operation. Consequently, Beijing's surplus in trade with India will probably reach $24 billion in 2010.

Wen promised that China takes the trade imbalance with India "seriously" and promised better access for Indian producers in promising areas like pharmaceuticals, agriculture and IT. Cynics, however, claim that the Chinese promises are not commitments and were only made after India agreed to relax its barriers against China's banks.

Leading Indian commentators noted that little had been achieved on big political issues, such as Delhi's wish for a seat on the U.N. Security Council, its worries about China's plans for dams on the Himalayan and Tibetan rivers (agricultural and energy lifelines) and terrorism sponsored in Pakistan.

The Deccan Herald complained that in spite of the "strong personal chemistry" between Wen and Singh, the two leaders "engaged in parallel monologues with the Chinese leader more keen to talk about banalities."

China's premier flew on to Pakistan, a country with only 15 percent of India's population and trade with China worth $6.8 billion, and there wrapped up deals for $35 billion. He also praised Pakistan's brave stand against terrorism and promised strategic partnership and economic cooperation — all of which have made Indians wonder how much Wen's warm words for them are really worth.

Kevin Rafferty, formerly in charge of the Financial Times' coverage of Asia, is editor in chief of PlainWords Media.
The Japan Times: Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2011

CSIS Establishes Wadhwani Chair in U.S.-India Policy Studies

CSIS Establishes Wadhwani Chair in U.S.-India Policy Studies;
Ambassador Karl F. Inderfurth, Former Assistant Secretary of State for South Asian Affairs, to Serve as Inaugural Chair Holder

WASHINGTON, January 5, 2011 – The Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) is pleased to announce the establishment of the Wadhwani Chair in U.S.-India Policy Studies and that Ambassador Karl F. Inderfurth, a former U.S. assistant secretary of state for South Asian affairs, will serve as the inaugural chair holder. The chair is made possible by the generous support of the Wadhwani Foundation, which is founded and led by CSIS trustee and Symphony Technology Group CEO Dr. Romesh Wadhwani.

“The newly established chair will pioneer policies that expand political and economic ties with India,” said Senator Sam Nunn, chairman of the CSIS Board of Trustees. “As a close U.S.-India relationship is in both countries’ interest, the chair’s work will be vitally important. CSIS is grateful to Dr. Wadhwani for making this possible.”

“The U.S.-India relationship is one of America’s most strategically important partnerships of the twenty-first century,” said John Hamre, CSIS president and CEO. “Dr. Wadhwani’s generosity, and Karl F. Inderfurth’s work as the Wadhwani Chair, will contribute to critical policymaking efforts to build a secure and sustainable future for the relationship.”

The Wadhwani Chair will serve as an independent platform in Washington from which to assess major policies and strategic issues in the relationship between India and the United States. It will place special emphasis on policies to accelerate economic development in India, with a wide-ranging agenda including economics, energy security, climate change, regional security and India’s role in the world.

Ambassador Inderfurth will work closely with a partner chair holder at the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER) in New Delhi to promote pragmatic policies conducive to India’s economic growth and development, bringing together public and private sector representatives in both countries.

“The last decade has seen a remarkable transformation in US-India relations,” said Ambassador Inderfurth. “I believe the Wadhwani Chair will build on this solid foundation and serve as a key player and catalytic agent for unlocking the full potential of the US-India relationship in the years to come.”

Previously, Ambassador Inderfurth was John O. Rankin Professor of the Practice of International Affairs and the Director of the International Affairs Program at George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs. He served as U.S. assistant secretary of state for South Asian affairs from 1997 to 2001; special representative of the president and secretary of state for global humanitarian demining from 1997 to 1998; and US representative for special political affairs to the United Nations, with ambassadorial rank, where he also served as deputy U.S. representative on the UN Security Council from 1993 to 1997.

Ambassador Inderfurth has worked as a national security and Moscow correspondent for ABC News (1981–1991) and received an Emmy award in 1983. He has also served on the staffs of the Senate Intelligence and Foreign Relations Committees and the National Security Council.

“The importance of the strategic partnership between the US and India and the changing dynamic in both countries requires us to take policy thought leadership to the next level,” said Dr. Wadhwani. “The Wadhwani Chair at CSIS is intended to be the fulcrum for this and to develop creative new options for top policy makers in both countries to accelerate economic development. We are delighted to have a person with the stature of Karl Inderfurth as the first holder of the Wadhwani Chair at CSIS.”

Dr. Wadhwani is the founder, chairman, and CEO of Symphony Technology Group, a group of nine software and services companies with combined revenue of over $ 2.5 billion and 15,000 employees. He is also the founder and chairman of the Wadhwani Foundation, which is devoted to accelerating economic development in India and emerging economies. The Wadhwani Foundation is currently leading and funding many ongoing large-scale economic development initiatives in India, including the National Entrepreneurship Network and the Opportunities Network for the Disabled. Earlier, he founded Aspect Development, Inc., a leading supply chain software company, where he was chairman and CEO until 2000, when the company merged with i2 Technologies in one of the largest software mergers ever. Prior to that he served as founder, chairman and CEO of Cimflex Teknowledge Corporation. Dr. Wadhwani received his B.S. degree from the Indian Institute of Technology in Bombay and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.


The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) is a bipartisan, nonprofit organization that seeks to advance global security and prosperity by providing strategic insights and policy solutions to decisionmakers.

H. Andrew Schwartz

BALOCHISTAN: Kidnapped Baloch Journalist’s Bullet-Riddled Body Found in Turbat

The Baloch Hal News

QUETTA: The bullet-riddled dead body of a missing Baloch journalist Ilyas Nazar was found by authorities in Pidarak area of Kechh district, some 550 Km west of Quetta on Wednesday, along with Qambar Chakar Baloch, a top leader of the Baloch Students’ Organization (BSO).

According to sources, Levies Force personnel after getting information from the local people, authorities reached Pidarak mountainous area, some 17 KM away from Turbat town and shifted the bodies to local hospital for autopsy.

Hospital sources said that both victims received bullets wounds in their heads and their bodies bore severe torture marks. They were identified as Chakar Qambar (22) a central committee member of Baloch Students Organization (Azad) and Ilyas Nazar, a local journalist of Balochi magazine monthly “Darwanth” and a final year student of Computer Sciences.

Ilyas Nazar was picked up reportedly by the government agencies after dragging him out from a passenger bus in costal town of Ormara while he was on his way from Quetta to his native town of Turbat on December, 28 last.

The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) has strongly condemned the murder of the the young Baloch journalist by calling it as an act of ‘barbarism’. The country’s journalists’ foremost body said the situation in Balochistan was too bad to work as reporter.

At least five journalists, vast majority of whom were Balochs, were killed in Balochistan in 2010 while Nazar’s was the first murder of a journalist in the conflict-stricken province. Another journalist from Pasni, Siddiq Eido is currently missing. He was abducted on the same day when Nazar was whisked away. Sitting in a hunger strike camp, the family members and professional colleagues of Nazar say they fear he would be killed by his captors.

Local residents say over 80 Balochs were brutally killed and their bodies were thrown in desolate areas after being allegedly abducted by the government agencies during the past six months.

Governor Balochistan Nawab Zulfiqar Ali Magsi on Monday last has made a passionate appeal to Chief of the army staff General Ashfaq Pervaiz Kyani during his visit to Sui to resolve the issue of missing persons and their killing. He requested Army Chief to investigate who were the people involved in their abduction and killing that has been causing anxiety among their families.


PFUJ Outraged Over Baloch Journalist’s Murder

Posted by Admin on Jan 6th, 2011 and filed under Today in News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site. Edit This Entry

The Baloch Hal News

ISLAMABAD, Jan 5: The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) has condemned the killing of another Balochistan journalist Ilyas Nazar in mysterious circumstances on Wednesday after being kidnapped about 10 days ago.

Terming it an act of barbarism, the PFUJ said it has made it almost impossible for media practitioners in Balochistan to perform their professional assignments without fear.

Ilyas Nazar, 22 who worked as a Copy Editor of a Balochi language magazine, was whisked away by unknown kidnappers between December 28-29 night when he was coming from Quetta to his native town in Turbat at Aromada.

On Wednesday afternoon, his body was found on a derelict road of Pidrak of Turbat, alongwith another body of young man who was subsequently identified as Kambr Shakir, member of the Central Executive Committee of Balouch Students Organisation, with bleeding wounds.

In the postmortem report of Ilyas Nazar, four wounds were found on various parts of his body, including head and chest while Kambr Chakar received 8 bullets in his head, chest and hands.

Deceased Kambr Chakar belonged to a lower middle class family and was also doing MSc in Computer Science from the Balochistan University, and was in journalism for the last three years.

Ironically, Pasni-based journalist Siddiq Eido, who was also kidnapped by some unknown persons, is still missing, and his whereabouts are unknown sofar.

Condemning the killing of Ilyas Nazar in a very strong terms, the Secretary General, PFUJ Shamsul Islam Naz, said Pakistan has already been declared one of the most dangerous country of the world for reporting by all leading journalist organisations and highest number of media related workers was killed during 2010 in the whole world yet the incident has occurred in 2011 which speaks of insecurity of media persons in Pakistan.

The PFUJ pointed out that it is very painful that working conditions in conflict areas of Khyber Pukhtankhawa and Baluchistan are tense and incidents of torture, threats, intimidation, kidnapping and killing have become order of the day, yet the agencies concerned are playing the role of a silent spectator.

More dangerous aspect is that on such pathetic circumstances civil society, human rights organisations, political parties, bar associations; intelligentsia and media owners’ organisations are observing conspicuous silence.

The PFUJ called for immediate arrest of killers of Ilyas Nazar adding that so far no killer of the media practitioners in Baluchistan and Khyber Pukhtan Khawa has been arrested which encouraged the perpetrators to continue their nefarious designs.

The PFUJ also demanded immediate recovery of kidnapped journalist Siddiq Eido.

The PFUJ has reiterated its demand that international human rights and media organizations to send fact finding missions for asserting the plight of torture ridden media persons of Baluchistan and raise their voice for their safety, training, fair wages, conducive working conditions as well as assistance for providing life security gadgets.